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Dr. Michelle Saulnier Successfully Defends Dissertation

On behalf of the joint Erikson-Loyola doctoral program in Child Development, please join committee Chairs Dr. Jon Korfmacher and Dr. Linda Gilkerson and the entire community in congratulating Dr. Michelle Saulnier on the successful defense of her dissertation entitled, “Child Parent Psychotherapy in Child Welfare.” Dr. Saulnier held her defense online to a large audience on May 1. Her study was a mixed-methods study of how the evidence-based treatment child parent psychotherapy (CPP) was implemented in a child welfare system and its impact on outcomes for young children and their families. Dr. Saulnier made use of complex administrative data from an existing project looking at multiple supports to children in foster care. Using a sophisticated analytic technique, she examined CPP’s unique contributions to child welfare outcomes. She conducted additional analyses and interviews with practitioners and administrators within the child welfare system to also identify challenges in its administration and the complexities of negotiating who actually participates in the services. Dr. Saulnier’s work extends the existing literature on CPP by examining its use in a real world setting with a population that has been frequently overlooked in the research. Her work can help inform how systems can plan and strategize the best ways for families in need to participate in this evidence-based approach. We look forward to celebrating Michelle’s accomplishments further at graduation. Congratulations Dr. Saulnier!

Michelle Saulnier

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